Once the CT scan, mold, and tattoos (who would have ever thought I would have a tattoo!) were in place I waited for about a week and a half for my radiation treatment plan to be generated by Dr. Harris and his staff and treatment to begin.
As has been the case on this entire journey, we feel so blessed with the caring staff of Gamma West. Dr. Harris, Kari (my sister-in-law’s best friend!), Robin, Andy, Justin, and Jessica make me feel almost lucky for the opportunity (ALMOST:)!). This particular “opportunity” will be 5 days a week for the next 6 weeks, but only entails a small percentage of my day.
The image in the mirror caused me to pause and the smile quickly faded from my face. Familiar tears filled my eyes as I stroked my head, and I took a deep breath in as a quick realization of the toll the last few months has taken on me physically, emotionally, and spiritually swept across my mind. The cape gaped open to reveal many of the scars of the journey on my body and the tears that rolled down my cheeks exposed my emotional and spiritual landscape that has been forever changed.
Earlier in the week, the boys and I had been out running some errands and I came home to find the mirror in Justin and my bedroom crashed to the floor, its frame broken in several places. I sat on my bed and just stared at the mirror, with its broken corners and displaced iron works, as it rested on the floor. I felt sad!
In the tube, I couldn’t help but think of myself as that mirror, at one time, like the mirror, I was firmly positioned in my place…matching with all the surrounding “furniture” if you will! Then, with a single phone call, my world came crashing down and my previously well defined corners and ornamentation had been broken away. Despite the broken parts of the frame, the mirror was still intact and still served its purpose of reflecting an image back; that aspect of its nature had not been broken in the fall, just like my core nature had not been broken with the cancer call.
My mind immediately raced to fix-it mode and just like past experience, when I needed something fixed I always thought about my dad, who can fix anything! Imagine how blessed I have been to have this sweet, jack-of-all trades in my life. But, as fate would have it, my dad was out of town. There was no fixing of that mirror that day, but I was able to sit in front of the mirror and just think.
What did the image in that mirror really reveal? Do we take enough time in our life to really evaluate the image that stares back at us in the mirror? Or, do we check our hair, teeth, and make-up and never really take the time to really see our core nature?
I am grateful for the journey of this cancer treatment because it has given me that time! There is true power in really evaluating where we stand and what is reflected in our eyes (Matt 6:22-24). As I take the time and really see, I know there are things that I really like about what is reflected and there are undeniably things that need to change! I am grateful for the power of the atonement, that unbelievable sacrifice of our older brother, which truly covers that which has happened to us physically, emotionally, and spiritually (Alma 7:11-12). I am grateful for an earthly father who so closely emulates my Heavenly Father. In this, I am blessed.
Love to you,
I was out of town on a Sunday morning and the boys, Justin included, were fending for themselves. Eli was asked to get his church shoes, and he grabbed the shoes without shoe laces. Without warning, he marched himself down to my mom and dad’s house (2 doors down) plainly knowing that my dad could “fix him up”. He was truly surprised when my dad did not have spare shoe laces on Sunday morning, he reflected, “Papa can fix anything!” (an obvious strong mom influence).
As I stated earlier, I am grateful for my dad and I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that truly can “fix anything”. He desires for us to be happy and happiness comes when we align our will with His.
I will leave you with this thought from the Youth Spectacular at Weber State: